Tel Aviv Diary - June 25-9. 2019 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary -July 5-9, 2019 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

July 5, 2019

Oh no! I forgot to save yesterday and only noticed it today! isn't it time i moved this diary to one of those automatic, accessible, and more beautiful sites? sorry. not yet. yesterday wasn't terribly interesting anyway.

July 6, 2019

today - ehud barak announced that his party is called the "democratic israel party." great name. i don't believe it's going to win any votes from the right but it might make those guys who say there's no substitute for Bibi think again. all of us are afraid of post-bibi. not because he's so great, but because he made sure to have a government of yes-men who don't know how to do anything, everything is under his control and no one has experience. so if and when the government changes there's going to be a long period of learning how to run a country. anyone with any experience at all in government is going to have to lend a hand.

microcosm. an apartment house in Tel Aviv. There are 6 parking spaces - 2 fashioned from the former front yard - and 12 apartments. two places belong to one of the owners and the others are to be divided among the others. so 4 places for 11 people. there is a back yard but it is overgrown and a square of it was sold years ago to the electric company. so one of the parking places is the entrance to the back yard. the meeting to solve this problem in a neighborly way took place and one neighbor, who had thoroughly researched the area presented a plan to develop the back yard and allow for three more spaces, but objections ranging from 'it's illegal without a permit to "I'm not moving" made it impossible and the meeting was concluded with invoking 'he law of the jungle'. so we went there today to help cut some of the undergrowth down and make room for a few cars to get through. but i'm pretty sure there will be more fighting about the new situation. the parking problem in tel aviv is as acute as the problem on the roads - but if even neighbors don't know how to solve their little problems how can we expect the country to solve anything, and then the rest this country with our neighbors. i attribute much of the blame to the leaders. until our leaders learn to solve problems together, we can't expect much from each other.

July 7, 2019

The chair of the Igud Hasophrim, the multilingual alternative to the Hebrew Writers' Association, put me on a panel for this Friday at the cinemateque. with the request that i read in 3 languages. that part is no problem for me - but if i have to read in an empty auditorium it will ruin my weekend. i don't mind to empty halls - it has happened sometimes - but this time I'm in the middle of organizing a new book and the distraction is worrisome. more than annoying, because as much as i would like to write another Yiddish book i've written a few poems and my mind is going elsewhere right now. i want to write a book of poems that would be worthy of Mira Zakai's memory, something like she asked me to read to her in the hospital and i was too thick to understand.

The demonstration of mothers and their children tonight demanding that the government supervise nursery schools can't fall on deaf ears. there have been a series of exposes about nursery schools in which the teacher physically abuses the children. the abuse is detected with nanny-cams and make no sense to anyone. most of the time the people realize they're being filmed and they should be expected to act more reasonably. but they slap, tie up, shout, punch, and sit on children, as if no one is watching. and many times no one is. i wonder how my son, who spent a few months in a creche from the time he was very young to the time he started to go to a nursery school, fared. he has no memory of it.

In any case, I think this demonstration is more about parents feeling guilty that someone got away with abusing their children. it is crucial that there is supervision over private creches but this has to be arranged with the ministry of education, not a mass demonstration. i

why didn't you tell me the links were broken? i think i made a mistake in my html last week but now it should be fixed. Maybe that's why no one is getting tickets for Friday's events. the link on the cinemateque where you get tickets shows about 20 people in a room of 150 promised to come.

July 8, 2019

tomorrow is check-up day. 7:30 a.m. in the hospital, with luck i finish by 2 and speed off to the dentist to fill the cavity in my front tooth. who gets a cavity in a front tooth?

An old friend who reads my diary said it is confused. of course it is - it is usually right before i go to sleep that i write. And i'm particularly exhausted tonight - first because we had a family meeting about some joint property and my brother-in-law shut me up twice. i don't do well when people turn on me. and then because of the traffic jam because of the Ethiopian demonstration tonight. Even though the evidence suggests that the killing was a mistake there were a few hundred people closing off the main crossroads. but i can't blame the demonstration for my bad mood. it's much more about the lack of proper convenient public transportation. in the past few months I've been trying to get to places by bus, and had a bunch of appointments in Ramat Gan, but to get from here to there is impossible. well not impossible if you're under 70 and you've been riding busses all your life. and sometimes when i go somewhere directly and don't have to wait in the hot sun for a long time, i enjoy it. .. a lot.

July 9, 2019

After a day of check up at ichilov and an unscheduled visit to the dentist in herzlia, we would never have gone out tonight. but Zubin Mehta was giving a final concert and it was Verdi's Requiem. and it was worth it. my hands hurt from clapping. Verdi's requiem is always amazing if only because it takes you through all the emotions of fear to terror, prayer, mercy and forgiveness - the soloists were all from the US or Russia but of the three choirs two were local. And suddenly i noticed that my favorite percussionist - an haredi - was not there. the other religious percussionist love had a big role to play in this requiem and i started thinking about how they feel about all this talk of Jesus Christ saving us. WE've seen a lot of requiems this year, but i ididn't really think of the significance of Jews singing Agnus Dei before.


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